Media Contact:
Gretchen Hall
[email protected]

Destinations International Expands Team with Strategic New Hires in Communications, Social Inclusion, and Information Technology

Washington, D.C., USA (April 15, 2024) – Destinations International (DI), the leading resource for destination organizations worldwide, proudly announces the strategic expansion of its team with three key hires: Tim Smith as Vice President of Communications, Ava Wells as Social Inclusion Manager, and Shaniqua Allen as IT Manager. Smith and Wells will begin their roles on Monday, April 15, while Allen joined the DI team earlier this year.

Tim Smith brings over two decades of experience in strategic communications and corporate affairs leadership, most recently serving as Vice President, Enterprise Communications at Delaware North. In his role at DI, Smith will spearhead the organization's global communications strategy, enhancing DI’s brand and extending its reach and impact across the tourism industry.

Ava Wells comes to DI with a decade of experience in driving member and partner engagement to progress strategic priorities and to influence core values of social inclusion. At DI, Wells will support the Chief Inclusion Officer in enhancing global inclusion across all organizational verticals, focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion research and data analysis, committee management, membership and partnership engagement, content development, and facilitation.

Shaniqua Allen, joined DI as IT Manager in January, and came with a robust technical background, including her recent role at the American Physical Therapy Association. Allen's expertise in IT support, database management, and process improvement will support DI's technological infrastructure and database administration, ensuring efficient operation and security.

Don Welsh, President and CEO of DI, expressed his enthusiasm for the new hires: "The addition of Tim, Ava, and Shaniqua to our team underscores our commitment to advancing the success of destination organizations globally. Their expertise in communications, social inclusion, and IT will be instrumental in driving our strategic priorities and enhancing the value we provide to our members."


About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest and most reliable resource for destination organizations. In short - DI educates, equips, and empowers our members to grow the success of their destinations and to excel professionally. Membership grants access to a wealth of important industry resources, educational opportunities, and exclusive benefits. For more information, visit

About the Author

Gretchen Hall

Chief Operating Officer
Destinations International

With over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, Gretchen has a proven track record of strong leadership, sustainable growth, innovative strategy and delivering results. She is a respected leader holding positions on various travel industry association boards and committees. Prior to joining Destinations International, Gretchen worked at the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) and in the sports industry; developing and managing youth basketball tournaments across the US.

During her tenure at LRCVB, Gretchen provided leadership with several signature developments including the Grand Opening of the Clinton Presidential Center, the 50th Anniversary of the integration of Little Rock Central High School which including the opening of a new National Parks museum and managing the $70 million renovation and expansion of Robinson Performance Hall and Conference Center. As Chief Operating Officer, Gretchen is responsible for the strategic development, implementation, communication and retention of global membership and partner initiatives for Destinations International.

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